Peter Norman Pinne (b. 1937) was born in Melbourne. He studied the piano for a few years and at the age of 14, after seeing the musical South Pacific, decided to be a composer. He had some success with radio competitions and, while working in his father’s butcher shop, wrote for revues. He met Don Battye at the Arts Theatre in Melbourne and from about 1959 onwards they collaborated on a succession of musicals. They included A Bunch of Ratbags (1966), It Happened in Tanjablanca (1968), Caroline (1971), as well as several children’s musicals. He also wrote songs for television shows and theatre restaurants, and scripts for several television series.

In the 1980s Pinne worked for the Reg Grundy Organisation and supervised the production of many television drama series, such as Neighbours, Sons and Daughters and Richmond Hill. He compiled Australian Performers/Australian Performances: A Discography from Film, TV, Theatre, Radio and Concert, 1897–1985 (1987). He also wrote about Australian recordings for the American magazine Show Music and undertook research for Moran’s Guide to Australian Television Series (1993). In the 1990s he was employed by Pearson Television and established television companies and offices in various South American countries. He and Battye then set up the Bayview Recording Company, based in Miami and Brisbane, which records musical theatre performers and re-issues CDs aimed at the show music market.


The collection of music scores was purchased from Pinne in 2003. Further additions were received from Pinne in 2004–06.


The Pinne Collection contains 2780 published songs and vocal and piano selections from American, British and Australian musicals, music theatre, films and television shows produced from about 1920 to 1990. (There are a few earlier and later works.) Some of the songs were used in the original productions, but were dropped from later productions, recordings or films, and are therefore the only surviving representation of the original work.

Broadway (New York) productions make up the principal group in the collection. The other groups are West End (London) productions, Australian productions, television musicals and film musicals. There are also a small number of European works (1995–97) and one South American work (1991).

Among the well-known American and British composers and lyricists represented in the collection are Lee Adams, Leroy Anderson, Harold Arlen, Burt Bacharach, Lionel Bart, Irving Berlin, Leonard Bernstein, Cy Coleman, Noel Coward, Vivian Ellis, Dorothy Fields, George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin, Marvin Hamlisch, Oscar Hammerstein, Otto Harbach, Lorenz Hart, Jerry Herman, Jerome Kern, Franz Lehar, Alan Jay Lerner, Frank Loesser, Frederick Loewe, Johnny Mercer, Anthony Newley, Ivor Novello, Cole Porter, Tim Rice, Richard Rodgers, Sigmund Romberg, Harold Rome, Arthur Schwartz, Julian Slade, Stephen Sondheim, Charles Strouse, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Kurt Weill, Meredith Willson, Sandy Wilson and Vincent Youmans.

Australian works form a small component of the collection, including songs by Peter Allen, Albert Arlen, Don Battye, Horace Gleeson, Varney Monk, Peter Pinne and Hal Saunders.


The Pinne Collection is kept together as a formed collection within the Music Collection. It is arranged in one alphabetical sequence by the title of the musical or film and occupies 36 boxes. The items have been catalogued individually and the call numbers have the prefix MUS Pinne Collection followed by the name of the musical or film.


Collins, Martin, How to be a Butcher and Write a Musical Comedy, Australian, 10 October 1968, p. 22.

Dare, Tim, On Behalf of the Fledgling, Australian, 27 March 1971, p. 18.

Peter Pinne: